Title: Peter the Great
Author: Diane Stanley
Major Themes: Peter the Great, Russia
Synopsis: The life of one of Russia’s greatest rulers is told in story and picture.
I really like Diane Stanley’s illustrated biographies. They are a wonderful introduction to various historical characters. The language is simple but the stories convey all the important facts of each person’s life in a very interesting way, and the pictures are superb—full-color, realistic paintings. The only one of them that I don’t like, of the ones I’ve seen, is the one about Michelangelo (shows too many of his nude paintings).
Peter the Great tells the life story of one of the most prominent of Russia’s tsars. Young Peter Alexeevich was tsar by the time he was 13, at which time he loved playing war games. Soon, he became interested in life outside of Russia, and took a trip through Europe, learning all he could about the culture there. He also worked in a shipyard, learning how to build ships so he could create Russia’s first navy.
Back in Russia, Peter decided that Russia needed to modernize. Imagine the consternation of the men of his country when he ordered that they all cut off their beards and shorten their cloaks! Peter made a lot of other changes, too. This book will show you many of Peter’s innovations, and the city he built from scratch. If you’re studying the 17th and 18th centuries, this book would be an interesting addition.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12